EastWest is a premier sample library and virtual instruments developer with clientèle that spans the who's who of the music, film, television, games, multimedia and performing arts. EastWest has led the industry for more than 29 years and provides professionals with the very best music creation tools available.
INTRO Fab Four by EastWest Quantum Leap is a wonderful collection of virtual instruments that encompass the essence of The Beatles sound. This comprehensive sample library is extremely customizable and useable. It's is not a simple collection of Beatle-esq loops, nor is it a simple player or inflexible rompler. For many years I have been piecing together sonic elements of the 60s vibe, one instrument at a time — a Ludwig bass drum from here; a Mellotron flute sample patch from there; "vintage" effects from who knows where. I was able to assemble some cool virtual instruments and effects along the way, but having a wealth of the exact tone in one convenient treasure chest is amazing. I still use some of my old bits and pieces, but not many — Fab Four is comprehensive. I especially dig a some of the drums kits (toms are especially cool), the Hofner and Rickenbacker basses, Hammond, and Martin D-28 acoustic guitar. The Revolution Guitar patch is addictive — I read somewhere that this famous Lennon guitar tone was created by connecting two vintage EMI preamps together. All-in-all, a great deal of detail has gone into creating this collection.
FAVORITE FEATURES • Simple, yet powerful interface. • Amazing, authentic sound that includes 45 instruments. • Easy instrument menu. • Excellent browser and patch management. • Flexible patch editing. • 64-bit. • Simple MIDI notes switching to enable fast toggling between sample chains. • Fantastic built-in reverb. • Automatic Double Tracking. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_double_tracking • Recent version of the PLAY engine is efficient, robust, and stable. • Engineered by Ken Scott. • It's developed and supported by EastWest — they won't disappear anytime soon! ;-).
OTHER THOUGHTS • For many, the iLok requirement is a con. • It would be cool to have some simple legato vocal backing tracks, i.e., Ahh, Ooo, Ohh, etc. • I would like to see the keyboard patches expanded.
SUMMARY Fab Four accurately capture the timeless vintage vibe of The Beatles. The sounds are authentic, and the instruments are inspiring. Although the Lads won't be available to help write any songs, the intrinsic nature, indispensable quality, and character of their sound is found it this virtual instrument collection! I've been eyeballing Fab Four for a few years. Later this year I'll be teaching several interactional music classes on the history of Western pop, and the 60s will be the highlight of the course. Having the power of Fab Four was something I had to have, and I have no regrets. It's easy to use, sounds great, and is a lot of fun. I'm sure my students will love this thing! I highly recommend this sample library to any eMusician, producer, film and game scorer, sound designer, DJ, etc., who is looking to add a taste of Beatlemania to their tracks. I can easily imagine using these instruments for Indie Rock, Hip Hop, EDM, and so on. Why not? Great stuff. I give this fabulous library four thumbs up. Thank you, EastWest, for creating such a timeless and useful bundle of virtual instruments.
Simply the best sounding pianos out there right now.
This is an enormous sample set. Out of the five pianos here, the largest is the Bechstein, which weighs in at over 80GB. Even using the Direct From Disk capability, this piano's full articulation version takes up just over 3GB of RAM, so unless you're running a slave machine or an x64 based host, you are going to have to do some tweaking to run it.
Thankfully there is a neat sample purge system which allows you to play the song once, then purge the samples that aren't used in the track. This frees up memory. And there are some lite versions that allow you to compose before plugging in the big brother for a full rendering to audio.
But it's all worth it. The sheer depth and the quality of the sample sets make them sound really dynamic and rich in detail. Now the ball is definitely in Synthogy's court to see if they can follow up with Ivory 2.
Play itself has been getting a lot of stick. It can be finicky to install, and the support forum isn't as open and transparent as it could be. There was one issue regarding losing favourites where the support team would only PM out the solution, but this has (thanks to some user pressure) now been made a sticky thread.
The 1.1.6 version of Play now seems much more stabie than previous versions. It works well and crash-free on my rig, which runs SONAR X64 on Vista X64. I can load up the full Bechstein piano and three other instances of Play with StormDrum 2, Voices of Passion and Gypsy all at once and still keep latency at 5ms at 24bit 88.2KHz. (It helps to have a big box full of RAM).Read Review
I've had this set for around six months so I've had plenty of time to get used to it.
Now, with the Play sampler upgraded to 1.1.6 and running very nicely in SONAR x64, VOP complements the other instruments in the EWQL stable nicely.
It has five voices, America, Wales, Syria, India and Bulgaria. All voices are recorded with two high quality mics, and you can choose whether to use one or both in your rendering. However I found that the right hand channel, was generally quite noisy and so I normally stick to the left.
The America voice is full of oohs and aahs, and makes a nice sound for people who want something ethereal and 'white'. Wales is a wide repertoire of vowel and consonant sounds, with some words built that one could use to build nonensical sentences with, but the keyswitch articulation programming means that you spend a lot of time scratching your head to work out where to put the switch notes in your piano roll. What it lacks is a word builder like Symphonic Choirs, and certainly nothing as versatile as Vocaloid - although once you find something you like the finished result always sounds a lot better than vocaloid.
India contains a lot of phrases in microtonal scales, so it's very hard to get to use that material in anything other than modular work. The lady who sings the Bulgarian material has a beautiful voice. But the one I like the most is Syria. The texture of this singer's voice is magnificent and rich, and she sings lots of nonsensical phrases that sound arabic in nature and make for a very exotic sound that might easily accompany another Ridley Scott ancient world epic.
This is the kind of product that you write material around, rather than try to squeeze into something that already exists. If you walk into it with that attitude then there's a lot that VOP can offer.Read Review
Anyone considering buying this library should be aware that it still suffers from toothing troubles of the play sample player.
The samples themselves are good, but it does not yet deliver on the legato promise. vocals can sound synth-like and a consistent legato sound is hard to achieve (at the moment).
The gui is ok, very tidy. then again, there's not many parameters that you have control over.
Please also consider that you won't get a very accurate perspective on user response to the product on the developer's forum (sounds-online.com or something), as critical posts are sometimes deleted and threads locked etc.
The Demos of the product are somewhat misleading, as they contain many of the libraries pre-recorded phrases and don't show off the legato patches as much as one would think, considering that's the truly novel thing about this library.
Not saying it's bad or anything, but anyone considering buying it should be very careful that they're really getting what they're hoping for.
Maybe future patches and library updates will fix some of these issues.Read Review
with the release of Gypsy just around the corner, i thought it was a good time to write the first review of RA. this is a world class instrument for creating all types of international sounding projects.
the sampling quality and playability of these rare instruments is fantastic and inspiring. the collection is very large and as a result, many of the instruments are presented with fine detail in regards to the articulation of the instruments. in its top patches, these instrumental details are revealed by making use of keyswitching in the kontakt engine.
some of my favourite instruments in RA are ones like the daduk, koto, mandolin, middle eastern string section and many more, especially instruments that i didnt even know existed until i bought this. yali tambur? i never played a yali before!
i have to say though, i'm sure the creators will agree with me that the collection is meant to inspire you and help you create ethnic sounding compositions, but i think anyone who really digs this instrument will be reminded that there is no substitute for getting out and travelling around the world to record the sonic gems of this planet.Read Review